Jamaica has always been known as a great getaway for adults. Romantic couples-only resorts cater to honeymooners while adult-only all-inclusives keep the party going. But more and more travelers are tapping into what makes Jamaica excellent for family vacations. Resorts are building family-friendly properties, and fun educational sightseeing tours are enriching for travelers of all ages.
A Culture of Smiles
A trip to Jamaica begins the moment you touch foot on its soil. The Jamaican people are welcoming, warmhearted, and are always smiling. They are proud of their heritage and they are excited to share it all with families. The Jamaican Tourism Board encourages visitors to interact with their citizens by providing a completely complimentary “Meet the People” program. Visitors are matched with locals based on similar interests, and spend the day getting to know them, their culture, and their way of life. What better way for young adventurers to experience Jamaica than playing soccer with local children, possibly creating a friend for life?
Soak Up the Sun on Eco-Adventures
Jamaica’s sunny shores, lush rainforests, and mountainous countrysides offer an escape from technology and give families the chance to create one-of-a-kind memories surrounded by stunning nature.
Dunn’s River Falls
Considered one of Jamaica’s National Treasures, and a major tourist attraction, this series of amazing waterfalls creates a natural staircase. Groups hike up the rocks right through the flowing water to keep cool and refreshed during the climb.
The waters in this lagoon light up the night thanks to microorganisms called dinoflagellates that glow when they’re touched. Glass-bottom boat tours offer awe-inspiring views of this phenomenon, and Luminous Lagoon is only one of four places in the world to witness it.
Ride horseback while learning about Jamaica’s history. Make your way past a 500-year old sugar factory, the Seville Great House, and through the hunting and gathering grounds of the Taino Indian tribe, who were native to the island until it was claimed by Spain. Afterwards, you and your horse will cool off with a ride through the calm waves.
This ecological theme park offers thrills through the rainforest such as canopy zip-lining and a “bobsled” ride down the mountain, inspired by the country’s famous Olympic Team.
The River Bumpkin Farm
The River Bumpkin Farm offers families a great eco-adventure. Float down Martha Brae River by tube or kayak, or explore this historic plantation by bike. Whatever eco-activity you prefer, this place will have the whole family getting back to nature.
Choose Your Home Base
Jamaica has three fantastic yet distinct resort areas. Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Negril all offer something different and unique. Thankfully, all areas of Jamaica are within driving distance so no matter where you choose to stay, you have the option of seeing all the wonderful parts of Jamaica on tours and excursions.
Montego Bay is the gateway for all Jamaican journeys due to the Sangster International Airport. Whether staying or going, all visitors get a glimpse of this bustling northern-coastal town. The main draw for staying in Montego Bay is the close proximity to many of the resorts. There’s also plenty of history here, like at the Rose Hall Great House, plus multiple shopping complexes, and, of course, beautiful beaches.
An hour and 45-minute ride from Montego Bay is the popular port town of Ocho Rios. A favorite stop for many cruise lines, this area is closest to some of Jamaica’s top attractions. The famous Dunn’s River Falls are a great way to experience nature and adventure. Zip-lining and bobsledding are a popular pastime at Mystic Mountain, and horseback riding on the beach is right here.
For the most stunning beaches on the island, head to Negril. This is the home of Seven Mile Beach, which is seven miles of powdery soft sand and clear calm waters. Located an hour-and-a-half south of Montego Bay, this laid back area is less developed than the others, creating an authentic feel with plenty to do. This area is close to YS Falls, Appleton Estate, and the Black River, where you can take cruises and see the only crocodiles in Jamaica.
Some of Our Favorite Family-Friendly Getaways
Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall
Only a quick 15-minute ride from the airport, Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall is the perfect place for families looking for excellent amenities and non-stop fun. An all-inclusive with unlimited dining and premium drinks, this modern resort keeps everyone entertained with nightly shows, water sports, pool games, and dance lessons.
Moon Palace Jamaica Grande
Moon Palace is Palace Resorts’ first venture outside of Mexico, situated perfectly in Ocho Rios. This property is more than just a top-notch all-inclusive. They shower their guests in amazing benefits, the best of which are the resort credits. Guests receive resort credits that they can use for spa treatments, golf, and excursions.
Beaches properties are known for being some of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, and Beaches Negril is no exception. A brand born and bred in Jamaica, Beaches has taken the meaning of all-inclusive to a whole new level. In addition to great food, drinks, and entertainment, they offer more activities on property than just beach volleyball and kayaking. Guests of all ages can enjoy motorized water sports, including scuba diving and snorkeling trips. They are also one of the few resorts in the Caribbean to offer a full-sized water park. There’s a Beaches in Ocho Rios as well, so families headed to Jamaica have their pick.
Friendly people, fantastic resorts, and boundless outdoor activities will have families dreaming about their return trip to Jamaica. Contact your travel advisor to get started on your family getaway to this stunning Caribbean island.